The federal government mandates that every state must provide Viagra or a like drug to its Medicaid patients who meet the requirements.
The mandate includes those patients convicted of sex crimes. When told of the policy, Jennifer Dritt at the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence was stunned.
Jennifer says, "I think there are certainly times when sex offenders use Viagra to continue their fantasizing about the optimal crime."
The problem came to light when New York’s comptroller wrote to the federal government saying: "this raises serious policy considerations and has the potential to place the public at risk"
Two hundred of New York’s 21,000 registered sex offenders are receiving the Viagra like drug from the government. In Florida there are 30,000 registered offenders, so if those percentages hold true some 300 Florida offenders are getting sexually enhancing drugs.
When we asked Florida’s attorney general, who has led the crusade to lock sex offenders up, he called the state agency responsible.
The Agency for Health Care Administration immediately began cross referencing records.
Joann Carrin, spokesperson, says, "If there is a problem then we need to make sure that it's stopped, and that's the attorney general's focus is that if this is happening, it should not be happening."
The Agency for Health Care may not have the legal authority to stop the prescriptions, but it will anyway and invites sex offenders to take them to court.
Advocates for women’s rights say the Viagra policy points out a double standard in the Medicaid system: male sex offenders can get erection drugs, but law-abiding women can’t get contraceptives or the morning after pill.